Memorial Day Has Special Meaning For Matthews

Posted May 26, 2014

Dolphins wide receiver helps spread the true meaning of Memorial Day to his teammates.

Children of military parents have a different take about Memorial Day than others and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews is no different.

Matthews comes from a military background and is proud of it. His father, Andre, is a retired United States Marine Corps master sergeant. He credits his upbringing with turning him into the young man and accomplished athlete he has become.

“He started off as a drill instructor and every time I went to work everybody called him ‘Top’ and that’s all I knew,” Matthews said. “I was young and everybody respected him so that definitely was good.”

In addition, Rishard's brother is currently serving as a Marine and his sister and her husband were both in the Air Force.

Discipline and respect are two of the most important principles taught in the military, so it’s only natural that military parents pass those onto their children. Hearing Matthews speak, he adds the moniker “sir” to the end of his sentences when addressing you and is humble and does not show a hint of ego.

Matthews is part of a generation that is familiar with war, as the United States has twice been involved in conflict in the Middle East in the last three decades. So he is well aware of the significance and the message that needs to be remembered on this day.

“I’ve got a lot of friends whose parents are in the military and I’ve got a lot of friends who are in the military so there is definitely a respect for them and what they do for us and this country,” said Matthews. “It was instilled in me at an early age that when you meet people it’s with a ‘yes, sir, yes, ma’am or no, ma’am.’ That’s definitely built into you as you’re growing up and you just earn respect for other human beings and for living in general.”

As a seventh-round draft pick, Matthews earned the respect of his Dolphins teammates and most importantly of Head Coach Joe Philbin and his staff right from the start. He went from a long shot to make the 53-man roster to becoming a pivotal contributor to the offense, taking the lessons taught to him by his father and feeding off of that drill instructor mentality.

So it’s on this weekend when Matthews helps spread the true meaning of Memorial Day to his teammates.
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